Accused hitman Reginald Coleman pleaded guilty to malice murder Monday and was sentenced to life without parole in the Feb. 14, 2010, murder of Snellville man Richard Schoeck.
Schoeck was shot to death at Belton Bridge Park in North Hall. Prosecutors have said his wife, Stacey Schoeck, hired Coleman to do the job for $10,000. Schoeck is charged in the murder as well but has not yet gone to trial.
According to Hall County District Attorney Lee Darragh, Coleman entered the plea Monday afternoon before Superior Court Judge Jason J. Deal.
Darragh said he could not comment on the plea because Stacey Schoeck has not yet appeared in court. She is expected to do so before the end of the year, but no date has been scheduled.
Coleman’s attorney, Christian Lamar with the Georgia Capital Defender’s Office, could not be reached Monday for comment.
Coleman also pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm during the commission of crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced to five years on the first count and five concurrent years on the second.
Coleman is not the first to be found guilty in connection with the slaying.
In August, Lynitra Ross was sentenced to life without parole for acting as the “go-between” in the 2010 plot to kill Richard Schoeck.
Ross, who was supervised by Stacey Schoeck at a DeKalb County spinal clinic, introduced Stacey Schoeck to Coleman. She, according to prosecutors, even tagged along during a “dry run” at the park to scout out the location of Richard Schoeck’s murder.
Richard Schoeck, 45, was shot to death on Valentine’s Day as he waited for his wife at the park in Lula well after dark to exchange gifts.
According to previous reports, the motive may have been financial; investigators wrote search warrant requests, since Stacey Schoeck had pending life insurance claims totaling $560,000. One of the policies activated that Feb. 1, deputies stated. Stacey Schoeck later testified that she had thought her husband was abusing her children.
The state was earlier seeking the death penalty against Coleman.